Blue Raiders top Hastings 3-2 in overtime to win NAIA title
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -- A perfect season had the perfect ending as the No. 2-seed Lindsey Wilson College men's soccer team outlasted No. 1-seed Hastings (Neb.) College 3-2 in overtime to collect its ninth NAIA National Championship on Saturday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
Just six minutes into the extra period junior Lebogang Moloto took possession just outside the box and drove by himself to put away the game-winning goal and start the championship celebration.
The Blue Raiders end the 2011 season with a 23-0-0 record, recording the first perfect season since 1998 when they were 25-0-0.
"To these kids' credit, they work so hard during the year, in overtime this season we haven't given up a shot," said Lindsey Wilson head coach Ray Wells. "So Tsunami (Moloto) running through on that last play, I'll be honest with you doesn't surprise me. It was such a good effort by everybody, I'm so proud of all of them."
Lindsey Wilson outshot Hastings 21-16, including a 9-6 advantage in shots on goal but the game wasn't always swaying in the Blue Raiders' favor.
The defending-champion Broncos took an early lead in the fifth minute as Jordan Green received a pass inside the goal box from Matt Wadleigh and promptly touched it into the back of the net.
Not accustomed to being down early, the Blue Raiders went into a shell over the next 12 minutes, allowing Hastings to fire five straight shots with one bouncing off the post.
Luckily Lindsey Wilson got out of the scare without a Bronco goal and turned the momentum in its direction.
Finally, in the 36th minute, the Blue Raiders answered as sophomore Musa Mawanda sent a cross into the box from the right side to junior Mat Luak who headed the ball into the upper left of the goal past the Hastings keeper.
The Blue Raiders went on top 2-1 in the 45th minute in surprising fashion as freshman Carl Pettersson's shot ricocheted off the left post and a Bronco defender inadvertently kicked the ball into the goal while trying to clear it from the box.
That lead lasted all the way until the 62nd minute when Hastings's Jake Ramsay intercepted a soft pass between senior Chris Williams and junior Sicelo Buthelezi that he touched past Blue Raider freshman goalkeeper Yuta Nomura to knot the score at 2-2.
There were chances to win the game in regulation for both teams as Bronco keeper Cody Poteat made saves on back-to-back shots by junior Eddy Campbell and senior Moses Aduny. Nomura made arguably the save of the game in the 78th minute to stop what looked like a sure goal by Ryan Robinson.
During the tournament, Lindsey Wilson became the NAIA's all-time leader in wins at the national tournament. The Blue Raiders are 45-10-4 all-time at the national tournament.
Tonight's win gives Lindsey Wilson nine national titles -- second most all-time behind Quincy (Ill.) University's 11.
Lindsey Wilson is 9-0 in the NAIA National Championship match.
Lindsey Wilson finishes the season with a perfect 23-0 record. It is the second perfect season in the program's history. The 1998 team finished 25-0.
Lindsey Wilson's 17 goals were the most scored during the 2011 tournament. The Blue Raiders' 10 goals at the final site also led the tournament.
Lindsey Wilson 16-2 all-time in the national tournament as the No. 2 seed.
Lindsey Wilson has won 10 out of its last 11 national tournament matches.
The Blue Raiders ended Hastings' nine match winning streak at the national tournament. Hastings captured the 2010 title.
Lindsey Wilson wins its second national championship during an overtime period. The Blue Raiders defeated Auburn University Montgomery 2-1 in overtime to win the 2000 national title.
Of Lindsey Wilson's nine national titles, four have came in the state of Alabama. The Blue Raiders won the title in Birmingham in 1996 and 1998 and in Mobile in 1995. Lindsey Wilson has also won the championship in New Mexico (1999 and 2000), Kentucky (2001), Florida (2005) and California (2009).
Lindsey Wilson senior Chris Williams earned NAIA National Tournament Most Outstanding Defensive Player. The award is the second individual honor for Williams at the national tournament. He earned Most Valuable Player during the Blue Raiders' championship in 2009.
Lindsey Wilson junior Lebogang Moloto earned the 2011 NAIA National Tournament Most Valuable Player award. The award is the second individual honor for Moloto at the national tournament. He was Most Outstanding Offensive Player during the Blue Raiders' championship in 2009.
Moloto, Williams and junior Eddy Campbell were selected to the all-tournament team.
Moloto was also selected as the tournament's Champions of Character Brine-NAIA Scholarship Recipient as voted on by the tournament committee.
Moloto scored six goals during the five-game national tournament.
Campbell recorded two game-winning goals during the tournament (Roberts Wesleyan and Baker) while Williams (Hannibal-LaGrange), Moloto (Hastings) and Moses Aduny (Southern Polytechnic State) each had one game-winner.